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Named after and centred on the town of Pemberton, this richly timbered region was first planted experimentally in 1977, with commercial vineyards following in 1982, and enjoyed rapid growth in the 1990s. The region is situated in the lower south-west of Western Australia; west of the Great Southern and south-east of the Margaret River regions. Except for the months of December to March, Pemberton has a marginally warmer growing season climate than does neighbouring Manjimup, which may seem somewhat surprising but is confirmation that Manjimup has a more continental climate in that it warms and cools more quickly than does Pemberton. The result is that Pemberton not only has a higher heat degree day summation, though only by 5 HDD, and more sunshine hours (1623 to 1535), but it also has a heavier rainfall and greater relative humidity. The mean annual range of Pemberton is also lower, 8.55ºC (45.68ºF) as opposed to 9.7ºC (49.46ºF) for Manjimup, simply because Pemberton is nearer the sea. In other words, it has a slightly more maritime climate. As a result of the high annual rainfall, a number of vineyards do not use irrigation, but the very pronounced winter and spring dominance can lead to stress if subsoil moisture diminishes late in the growing season. While Manjimup is seen as more suited to the Bordeaux varieties, at Pemberton the focus has moved more towards the Burgundian varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Some 85 percent of the Pemberton region remains under native vegetation with magnificent marri forests in the northern half, moving to karri in the south. There are two major soil types. The first are the lateritic gravelly sands and gravelly loams overlying medium clay with moderate water retention capacity. These moderately fertile soils are found on many of the higher slopes around Pemberton. The second soil is the more fertile karri loam which was formed directly from the gneissic country rock and which, together with the abundant winter and spring rainfall, leads to vigorous growth. – Description from Wine Australia

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